Category Mgr - Indirect

  • Company: Grainger
  • Location: Lake Forest, Illinois
  • Posted: March 24, 2017
  • Reference ID: 1334757993
Primary Function

The Category manager is responsible for leading procurement sourcing activities in specific categories related to spend in Information Technology Hardware, Software, Paas/SaaS, Cloud Technologies and Innovation functions at Grainger. This role leads the development of category procurement strategy, goals and savings targets in line with company strategy, sourcing events, supply market analysis, and procurement best-practices for supporting across all facets of Enterprise System (ES)s This role is responsible for the new supplier selection processes, risk analysis and developing/maintaining strategic and preferred supplier relationships in within the IT category. Supports internal collaboration, knowledge sharing, compliance with best practices and established category management process. Additionally, this role will work with key internal and external stakeholders (ES Leadership; Finance; Legal; Compliance and Data Security/Privacy) to develop strategy for procurement category initiatives, provide thought leadership; identify, create and implement initiatives to maximize value to Grainger, while ensuring ongoing management of supplier contracts and relationships.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

  • Develop and implement procurement strategies for managed categories consistent with overall procurement objectives
  • Work closely with the Enterprise Systems leaders and working teams to set category long-term and mid-/ short-term objectives and pipeline of initiatives
  • Communicate category strategy, objectives and performance targets with management team and ensure that objectives are met
  • Drive cost reduction initiatives with suppliers within category
  • Manage supplier relationships and execute supplier performance management techniques in accordance with standards and guidelines and in collaboration with Enterprise Systems
  • This is a highly visible role and one will act as central point of contact and subject matter expert for assigned categories
  • Take ownership and manage specifications, supplier base and contracts for assigned categories
  • Prioritize and manage all strategic sourcing initiatives for managed categories; coordinate efforts with support functions and provide direction to strategic sourcing contract administrators
  • Lead the sourcing process including RFx, negotiations, and contracting with selected suppliers
  • Ensure quality of internal demand management for managed categories
  • Constantly monitor the supplier market and identify opportunities resulting from new product offerings and/or market shifts (e.g., entry or exit of suppliers, changes in pricing, or industry litigation)
  • Monitor category performance and take corrective action when required
  • Leverage and Define market intelligence on supply base, own key supplier relationships based on assigned categories supplier
  • Monitor performance of suppliers against contract obligations, SLAs, KPIs or similar reporting metrics and serve as a resource to resolve issues/problems,
  • Engage the support of key stakeholders using problem solving and proactive communication skills
  • Ensure clear communication and documentation of delivery requirements and expectations
  • Foster and develop relations (e.g. legal, finance, Data security, Risk, Privacy) across a matrixed organization
  • Accurately forecast Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of proposed solutions
  • Mentor, coach and support the professional development of junior associate category team members
  • Work with procurement analysts to prioritize and conduct spend and savings analysis
  • Knowledge of eSourcing activities and associated activities
  • Manage category performance by adhering to savings goals and developing financial models for assigned category spend .
  • General knowledge of project management discipline to help manage multiple work streams and initiatives within the assigned category. Ability to ensure timelines are met, while communicating project status to stakeholders and identifying risks.
  • Understand the balance between cost and service.
  • Develop and implement a sourcing process that delivers the right level of service and outcomes through planning, defining business needs, assessing the supply market, defining the strategy, execution, supplier selection and contracting
  • Ensure all contract obligations are documented, risks are mitigated and identified
  • Manage stakeholders at all levels within the organization and with suppliers; and can challenges and influence others.
  • Understand, guide, and consult key stakeholders challenges and build long term relationships with stakeholders.

Preferred Education and Experience

  • Substantial experience in IT category management or strategic sourcing and pricing and contract T&Cs negotiations; negotiation aptitude
  • At least 5+ years' experience in hardware, software, SAN Storage and fabric, telecommunication and project-based and/or contingent labor service. Exposure to and deal management including, but not limited to SAP on-premises and cloud based products, Tata Consulting; IBM; Oracle; Microsoft, AT&T, Verizon, EMC, Cisco)
  • Strong project management skills
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively work with disparate teams
  • Ability to navigate a matrixed organization
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Strong negotiation skills and expertise in best-in-class contract/commercial terms and conditions
  • Strong ability to assess and manage risk
  • Strong supplier relationship development and Industry experience preferred
  • Professional qualification / certification from related professional body, (ISM - CPM / CPSM, APICS) would be an added advantage

    Work Environment

    0-25% Travel


  • Achieve year-on-year improvement in total cost and value, quality and service goals
  • Align procurement strategy with business strategy
  • Maximize spend scale and buying power
  • Maintain agility and scalability to support evolving business requirements

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